Sign in to follow this  
pa1983

Versatile SSTO Spaceplanes with no need for refueling

Recommended Posts

I have made a series of SSTO spaceplanes with all stock parts (Download Link is at the bottom of the post).

They range from Crew transports to cargo transports to LKO and all they way to heavy cargo (37 Tons+) transports capable of going to Duna and back with out refueling. Goal here is efficiency in terms of fuel and re-usability and still maintain high capability.

Some things to know about my crafts are the fallowing.

Engines should always be activated first on the runway by stage ONCE. This makes sure vector trust works. Then shut down engines you dont want to use. Make sure to check action key assignments in the SPH.

Jet engines usually are staged in pairs of two and starts at key 1 and then 2,3,4 etc after that rocket engines and on key 0 there are parachutes IF the craft has an abort system for the pod. So to abort press Delete then 0 when appropriate.

All my crafts are designed so even people with keyboard only can fly them easily and they are also designed to use ASAS extensively. I have made sure that CG wont move to much and that drag is fare back as possible to make a stable craft.

I my self have no joystick sens it didn't work in linux, might do that with the native linux port now not sure.

So no mechjeb required to fly this things.

First on is my latest design and its the "Falcon X Jumbo Transport".

It has gone to Duna successfully and back with a 37.82T payload and to Laythe with a 10.98 Ton payload and back. Its about 205 tons (including the 37.82T benchmark payload) and 1212 parts with the benchmark payload.

I have tried to keep the number of engines down to reduce lag but it requires a decent PC but still is playable just fine compared to most 1000+ parts SSTO's but thats mainly due to the number of engines are kept to a minimum.

It has docking capability's tough its not fitted with RCS thrusters for any fine control, it only has 4 RCS truster blocks behind the cockpit to help lining it up so its preferable to try to dock a smaller craft to it then the other way around. If finer control is wanted theres just a mater of slapping RCS block on to the wing tips.

EDIT: B and C sub versions are now also available with more fuel and bigger cargo bay.

Some pictures of the "Falcon X Jumbo Transport" and a video on a mission to Duna to try it out.

http://youtu.be/05WxvokQITc

screenshot586.png

screenshot574.png

screenshot520v.png

screenshot561b.png

Some pictures and a video of my first real mission to deliver a mobile base of 10.98T to Laythe with a successful return trip to.

http://youtu.be/fMOzbtZAfWM

screenshot655.png

screenshot672fwd.png

screenshot736.png

Here are some accent figures that could help you get started but they are conservative and good for practicing.

You should deactivate Jet engines in the fallowing order using the action keys.

This are my safer figures.

Key 1 = 0.58 air intake

Key 2 = 0.45 air intake

Key 3 = 0.32 air intake

Key 4 = 0.18 air intake

Key 5 = 0.14 air intake

Key 6 = 0.08 air intake (usually a good idea to start the NV-1 with key 8 by now so you dont loose to much vertical speed, this is some where around 40km altitude)

Key 7 = 0.04 air intake

This will give you better fuel efficiency but they are on the cutting edge so be prepared for flame out and hit the key as soon as intake air fluctuates.

Key 1 = 0.31 air intake

Key 2 = 0.17 air intake

Key 3 = 0.17 air intake

Key 4 = 0.14 air intake

Key 5 = 0.13 air intake

Key 6 = 0.07 air intake

Key 7 = 0.04 air intake (start throttling down to maintain 0.04 and start the NV-1 engines. Once at 1/3-1/4 throttle shut of the jets and increase throttle.)

Accent profile that works well for a heavy max load say 36-45Tons. Depends on Sub variant, C version is overall the best on in therms of payload size and tonnage and fuel/oxidizer ratio.

45 degrease at less then 16Km

35 degrease above 16Km

30 degrease above 20Km

20 degrease above 24Km

10 degrease above 32Km (you need to get up to 1900ms at before passing 34Km so level off more if needed. This will save a LOT of Oxidizer once you go NV-1)

35 degrease above 34Km (do a gentle climb and later increase to 45 and start leveling of once you get in to thin atmosphere to start circularizing.

Landing gears are activated with 9 not the normal G key. G unless remapped will activate the landing legs that is used for support during loading or unloading.

There also seems to be a delay of 30-40 sec before key number 9 works so you might have to hammer it at the start of a new mission but later it should work fine. I have that problem on all crafts where I map landing gears to an action key for some reason. There are also drogue parachutes that can be used by stage once more but for some reason they seem to act as if deployed so you might have to go EVA and repack them before reaching the target body.

They can be cut with Key 1, I ran out of action keys so I did it that way so there on the same key as jet engine pare one. They can be manually activated safely if one is high enough also if staging wont work properly, do not seem to work if repacked and new stage is created.

Then we have the "Falcon IX". its pure crew transport and can go to Duna at least so much I have tested. have not tested Laythe but in theory I think it might be possible due to the oxygen atmosphere.

I have no accent profile for this craft but as fare as I recall it has no engines or intakes directly on the fuel tanks and that allows air intake to reach 0.01 no mater if all engines are running or not so its a lot simpler to know when flame out will happen. But the Falcon VIIIB is very similar so view that video if you need help on the ascent profile. Its unedited.

Some pictures and a video of reentry with one of the earlier prototypes so not the final craft but almost identical.

http://youtu.be/9MfCWkn9nzg

screenshot207.png

screenshot149r.png

screenshot124w.png

Then we have the "Falcon VIIIB Cargo Transport". Its similar to the later Falcon IX but has less fuel of its own and uses the lift capacity for cargo. Its a good LKO craft that can be used to build space stations and it can hull 36T to 500km orbit at least from what I recall with a proper accent profile. There is also the Falcon VIII and it has less ISP sens it uses two LV-30 plus two LV-N instead for 4x LV-N but its faster at climbing and should be good for at least 350km LKO.

Check my Video for ascent profile but be aware that the Falcon VIIIB Cargo Transporter needs longer time to get up in orbit then the Falcon VIII Cargo Transport in the video but I would recommend the Falcon VIII Cargo Transport as a practice craft and the go over to the Falcon VIIIB Cargo Transport.

Here are som pictures and the video is of the first version that has less range then the later B version.

http://youtu.be/DzT0X6lFdNk

screenshot197n.png

screenshot153k.png

screenshot172c.png

Then there is the "Falcon VIB".

It was built specifically for Laythe and back with out refueling. Tough a very outdated design it do work.

screenshot186h.png

There are older crafts still and as you probably can see the higher the number the more refined it usually is and capability is higher on the later models and so is fuel efficiency but it comes at the cost of performance due to higher part numbers. A decent PC is recommended and reentry effects should be set to off if the light show is not to important to you or else sett it to the lowest it will render reentry effects at, that will save time reentering sens thats is pretty laggy on the bigger SSTO spaceplanes.

Depending on craft I have probably 20-60 fps with most settings on the highest and 1920x1080 and about 0.5x real time during flight but its perfectly playable on my i7 and GTX570 under wine and linux. Any decent intel Core i5 or later AMD CPU should do and a decent graphic card like a GTX560 or better I would say for the bigger crafts that are 800 parts or more for a good experience. I do run wine still sens the linux client is slower for me so it might run a lot smoother for windows users then me so its hard for me to say how demanding this thing will be in specific cases.

Here is the download file and it will be updated with new SSTO spaceplanes as they are developed and tested.

Pleas dont post the link any ware else. If you want to "share" the file pleas download it then upload to other sites or e-mail it etc to other people. My server is on limited bandwidth but its reliable at least.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/27196441/SSTOs.zip

Edited by pa1983

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They look cool as boop, but I'm afraid this would be too laggy for my taste. Plus, for me RCS and docking is kind of a must, but that's just personal preference and a lot of dockings on my back. I might try to design something similar with a smaller cockpit and payload (and hence, parts), though...

Rune. I do have an i5, but playing on yellow time is frustrating IMO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Amazing!

These designs look good and have a function, superb!

I think my computer can run them nicely (GTX 670, I7 and 16 GB ram)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Falcon X jumbo transport is one of the best design I've seen so far !

Congratulations, Monsieur.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
They look cool as boop, but I'm afraid this would be too laggy for my taste. Plus, for me RCS and docking is kind of a must, but that's just personal preference and a lot of dockings on my back. I might try to design something similar with a smaller cockpit and payload (and hence, parts), though...

Rune. I do have an i5, but playing on yellow time is frustrating IMO.

Slap a few RCS trusters on the wing tips of the Jumbo transport and your have all the attitude control you need. But do you want to move around 200Ton+ transporter or rater maneuver the re-fueler in to place?

And it allready got range to Duna and back with out refueling and so fare laythe seems perfectly doable. In orbit after payload delivery and more fuel then the delta V requirement for a return trip so Im 99% sure I get back. Will find out pretty soon.

Docking and refueling is something to avoid. No real advantage as I see sens I have done tons of that and in the end its mostly wast of time. Makes sens IRL with the limited crafts we have now days but in KSP it makes less sens. Not to say docking ports are not useful but they are used all to much when not needed.

Despite this most of my crafts have docking ports and the needed RCS thrusters to do the maneuvers. If not its added in a minute by the user.

Edited by pa1983

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Slap a few RCS trusters on the wing tips of the Jumbo transport and your have all the attitude control you need. But do you want to move around 200Ton+ transporter or rater maneuver the re-fueler in to place?

And it allready got range to Duna and back with out refueling and so fare laythe seems perfectly doable. In orbit after payload delivery and more fuel then the delta V requirement for a return trip so Im 99% sure I get back. Will find out pretty soon.

Docking and refueling is something to avoid. No real advantage as I see sens I have done tons of that and in the end its mostly wast of time. Makes sens IRL with the limited crafts we have now days but in KSP it makes less sens. Not to say docking ports are not useful but they are used all to much when not needed.

Despite this most of my crafts have docking ports and the needed RCS thrusters to do the maneuvers. If not its added in a minute by the user.

Well, that's your gameplay, and I'll never fault you for it. When I get a craft somewhere, it usually stays there, so I like refuelling and easy handling, but that's my own gameplay, lot's of waypoint stations and shuttles everywhere. But, you know, you still inspired me, so...

Rune. What's the problem, again?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well if you build a craft with fuel for a one way trip that means IF you want to go back you need to refuel. Refueling means you need at least one more craft and make another trip just to refuel the first one. Also if that means using rockets or drooping fuel tanks the howl point of a SSTO spaceplane is lost. Makes very little sens to me. Refueling and then docking is a way to extend the range of the limits of your current designs. If that can be overcome thats preferable. As it seems now with the Jumbo transport I can go almost anywhere with on tank of fuel so fine RCS control and docking is less important but its there if needed and any user can make changes to the craft. Some extra RCS thrusters are not gonna screw it up. IF you want to stay some where with any of my craft you can. No one is forcing you to return. And if you want to you can, no refueling required. And if you want to refuel for some reason you can. Almost all have docking ports and all RCS thrusters needed. if not its easy enough to add. Sens there mostly cargo hullers any way that usually means the user has to outfit it with a payload any way so I usually make small modifications that fits the mission any way.

I had two space stations in orbit and used those for refueling but as range got better on my crafts I stop using them last year. Plus its less fun to refuel the fuel depot. Spend days doing that. One can wast lots of fuel just "refueling".

But I have built howl space stations with SSTO spaceplanes etc so Im pretty bored at docking and refueling. Can see why people like it but eventually most will probably move on and use it when needed not just for fun.

If you dont like the philosophy behind my craft thats fine but if you ask your self, what would NASA want or any other future space industry? Non stop flight or costly and labor intensive refueling at every checkpoint?

Theres plenty of spaceplanes that dont have the range if on wants to play with those instead.

Plus whats the challenge in doing a craft with limitations if you know you can do better?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You watch to much X-files hu ;)

Most of my designs have come out of necessity rather then personal preference. But in the end crafts like X-33/Venturstar or the B2 bomber do have there advantages. Flying body can not only provide lots of lift but hold all the components and its relatively strong design. Also the center of gravity problem was a real world problem for SSTO spaceplane concepts and thats how the Skylon got its engine placed on etch side of the body instead of in the rear like more conventional spacecrafts. My crafts do have the engine further back then the Skylon but not that much. But the heavy 3 man pod balances that out.

Im considering trying out the Skylon concept to some day. See how that goes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've never watched an episode of X-Files, tbh. :I

Regardless, it's all very well crafted. Well done. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Falcon X Jumbo Transport has gone to Laythe and back now and delivered a 10.98 Ton payload.

Recorded it so will put together a video off it in a day or so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Going to Laythe was perfectly doable with the Falcon X Jumbo Transport and return. Dont know what would be the absolute max Payload size but I delivered 10.98T with out a problem and dumped the oxidizer I didn't need by transferring the fuel to other tanks and then run the NV-1 with oxidizer only. That works as a fuel dump with out starting the engines.

http://youtu.be/fMOzbtZAfWM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

wondering how this would do with deadly reentry...probably just have to use some cargo wieght and put plates on bottom and front...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great SSTOs. I've been working on SSTOs recently as well. My only area of criticism is that you exploit the intakes by using so many on some of your SSTOs. My challenge for you is to build an SSTO capable of going to Duna and back which only has a ratio of no greater than a ratio of 2:1, intakes:jets

-Amelo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do real aircraft use more then two intakes? Do real crafts like blackbird have problems flying at 85000 feet at mach3.2? Do the Skylon concept use more then one intake per engine? No I didnt think so.

Real problem is not enough air intake its the speed of the intake that needs regulation, thats why high speed crafts like blackbird or the proposed Skylon uses a nosecone for the engines to limit the speed of the incoming air.

Also at such speeds at Mach 5.5 that the skylon tops out on in theory on traditional jet propulsion the problem is still not the amount of air but the heat that is generated by the friction. 1000C intake air at mach 5.5. thats why they dont use jets at those speeds because no one has cooled such hot air fast enough and reliably until recently. The heat exchanger for the skylon has been ground tested to work.

So the way I see it intakes in KSP are unrealistic and nerfed and also make player think this is how it works. What we need is intakes for different functions. Turbofan intakes for low speed, Max Mach1 and high fuel efficiency and trust. For high speed crafts up to Mach 3 wee need intakes that are a bit less efficient in terms of fuel use (to balance the game play) but is capable of controlling air intake speeds and allow for Mach 3-3.5 and over that the engine should overheat and be destroyed. To go past Mach 3 we would need heat exchangers like the skylon. It would be like 1ton part and be able to cool air to stop the engine from overheating up to say mach 6.

And no I dont like intake abuse for the fact that its due to badly conceived intakes in KSP. Devs should fix them to reflect reality a bit more and that would add to the game play to sens most use ramair intakes any way for most stuff.

Until then its intake abuse.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just wanted to post to tell you that I think your designs are brilliant. I've been tearing through them for weeks, "Appropriating" ideas (stealing). They are super clean, straight, ballanced, and polished. Very impressive. I personally Am trying to avoid the parts clipping that gives such a huge advantage on items such as air intakes but there is no denying the huge performance gains that this gives!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks!

I didnt like intake abuse or stacking either untill I realized how unrealistic the current intakes are any way. Past mach 3 the air would get so hot most jets would melt any way. Theres a reason the SR-71 blackbird was built the way it was. Also the second problem would be supersonic airspeeds of the intake air. A real intakes job is also to slow that to subsonic. The howl Ramair idea seems kind of dumb to me. Just look at the SR-71 blackbird with its variable nose cone and from what I can tell the Saber engine on the Skylon will use something similar. Also to solve the hot air problem the Saber engine would incorporate an intecooler and that is under testing IRL and that would help cool the 1000C hot air at mach 5.5. Becuse thats how hot air gets due to friction etc at those speeds and that would ruin a modern jet engine. So I would rater see that engines where limited in speed due to temperature and limited to altitude. Not to intake air thats a factor of both speed and altitude like it is now.

I would rater see a new intake with a Fan for efficient subsonic flights and a new Nosecone intake for high speed high altitude flights but that is less efficient in fuel at low speed and altitude. Some intermediate intake to of more traditional design.

The intecooler part s already in the game, tough not that good looking its there but have zero use atm. The faster you fly the hotter en engine should get until it fails. The intecooler should allow for higher speeds before that happens, say mach 5-6.

It should be 1-1.5 tons to as a penalty. For high flying crafts there might be the option for a second part that is an extra compressor stage for the jet or maybe a howl new jet that is a bit longer like the LN-1 nerva that would offer higher compression ratio and I think that would make sens for high flying crafts.

This is my Idea of a intercoolec jet engine with a more realistically working intake (airospike is a substitute for the intake here) that would be more limited by altitude then speed so you would not have to spam the intakes and also spaming would not help. Many engines might share intakes and that would have negative consequences but once an engine is saturated altitude will limit it.

I also added the intercooler that would be useful for SSTO spaceplanes.

t8zq.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this